The role of folic acid and vitamin B12 in memory and cognition is pretty well established. Research appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2007; 86(5): 1384-1391) looked at 1,648 subjects over the age of 65 over a 10-year period. During the 10-year course of the study mental function and vitamin B12 levels were tested at least three times. High vitamin B12 levels were associated with slower rates of mental decline. An earlier study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1996;63:306-14), also found that high levels of B6 were associated with better memory.

Research appearing in Clinical Biochemistry (2007; 40(9-10) 604-608) found a connection between low levels of folic acid and vitamin B12, and depression in 66 subjects over the age of 60. Also, the depressed subjects tended to have higher homocysteine levels.

It is commonly assumed that people who need B12 must have injections. Actually, if the dosage is high enough, oral supplementation can be very effective. A review of research appearing in Family Practice News (November 15, 2004:59) shows that taking vitamin B12 orally may be as effective as getting by injection. The article reviewed four earlier studies that compared oral B12 supplementation with injections and placebos in patients with documented B12 deficiency. The studies showed taking a high dose orally (between one and two milligrams per day) is as effective as B12 injections. Lower doses were not as effective, in fact at 10 mcg per day, oral B12 supplementation is no more effective than placebo. Doctors in Sweden use oral B12 therapy instead of injections and have been getting good results for over 30 years.

There is not a lot of research on the connection between niacin and memory. Although in the severe niacin deficiency disease, pellagra, there are mental symptoms. Symptoms in the central nervous system can include memory impairment, disorientation, confusion, and confabulation (excitement, depression, mania and delirium). Some patients may become paranoid.

One study, appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience (2008 November 5;28(45):11500-10) looked at the effect niacinamide (a form of niacin) had on memory in rats. The rats in the study were normal rats and rats specially bred to develop a disease similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Over a period of four months rats were either given niacinamide in their water or a placebo. In the rats bred for the Alzheimer’s-like disease, there was an increase in proteins used to strengthen brain tissue and there was a decrease in material that could lead to plaquing. The specially bred rats who received the nicacinamide performed as well on memory tests as the normal mice, while the untreated rats demonstrated loss of memory.
Feel Free To Link To Any Articles On This Page. If You Wish To Republish One Of These Articles, Please Contact The Original Author